A Special Grand Jury has convened in Loudoun County to investigate how the school system handled two sexual assaults in two high schools last year.
According to Virginia code, a special grand jury should be empaneled when a regular grand jury “finds probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed” that a special grand jury should hear.
This appears to be the result of an investigation that Attorney General Jason Miyares launched in January after the new Governor asked for such an inquiry on his first day in office. AG Miyares:
“Loudoun County Public Schools covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain, leading to an additional assault of a young girl,” he said in a statement. “Virginians have dealt with the horrific aftermath of these scandals, without understanding how or why they were able to happen. Virginians deserve answers – they want transparency and accountability.”
In a statement Loudoun County schools spokesman Wayde Byard said FCPS leaders are aware that a Grand Jury has been convened and he added the school system:
“intends to cooperate with the lawful requests of the special grand jury, while protecting the privacy rights of our students to the extent permitted by law and in accordance with all applicable legal privileges.”
Call me cynical but that sounds like they will use anything they can to not give the Grand Jury what they need to fully investigate these very serious sexual assaults. Superintendent of Schools, Scott Ziegler, should have resigned last year when the mishandling of these assaults was first reported.
In other Loudoun County news, it comes as no surprise that the School Board has issued a statement opposing Governor Youngkin’s amendment to move up their elections to this November:
“The Loudoun County School Board opposes Governor Youngkin’s amendment to change the date of the elections for the entire Loudoun County School Board to November 8, 2022. Governor Youngkin’s proposed amendment seeks to undo a fair and free election in which members of the Loudoun County School Board were chosen by the people of Loudoun County to represent them on the School Board for four years. The proposed Governor’s amendment sets a precedent through which any Governor, with the approval of the General Assembly, could shorten the legally defined terms of any elected local public body chosen by its citizens with whom they disagreed or simply disliked. Such amendments would negate the wishes of the people who elected their local representatives and force the people of Loudoun County to hold an unnecessary election on short notice, and would ultimately hinder the operations of the School Board and school division in effectively serving its students.” (More information on this story at the above links.)
The parents and taxpayers of Loudoun County deserve a school board that represents their interests. With the exception of the Catoctin district representative, John Beatty, this board does not. It’s time to ‘throw the bums out”. We need to let our state senators know we want that to happen in November with a school board election.